Shanghai, April 13, 2012 (AFP) - Ferrari's early season woes deepened Friday after two poor practice sessions again left Fernando Alonso admitting that his much-maligned car was well short of challenging at the Chinese Grand Prix.
The two-time world champion might be top of the drivers' standings courtesy of the rain-blighted race in Malaysia, the second grand prix of the year, where he steered his Ferrari to victory, but he is under no illusions.
The Spaniard was a disappointing 11th fastest in the first practice in Shanghai and only 10th in the second. His team-mate Felipe Massa found it even harder going and was 17th quickest in the afternoon.
"We definitely lack a bit of performance: we will try and find it for tomorrow, as well as trying to sort out the balance of the car, especially in terms of its grip," said Alonso.
"There's a lot to do if we want to have a good qualifying."
Massa, whose place at Ferrari -- one of the most famous names in motor racing -- is said to be under threat for next season, was equally dispirited.
"You definitely couldn't define today as being fantastic," said the Brazilian.